Thursday, September 30, 2010
On this date in 2000, Tony Amonte became the 30th man to be named team captain in Chicago Blackhawks history. Amonte joined the NHL following two seasons at Boston University when he skated in a pair of playoff games for the New York Rangers following the conclusion of his college career in 1991.
Amonte played three seasons for the Rangers before being dealt to Chicago in the deal that brought Stephane Matteau to New York. After seven seasons with the Blackhawks, in which he scored over 40 goals three times, Amonte rose to the captaincy, joining an elite group of men to wear the "C" for one of the league's historic Original 6 franchises.
The list of men to wear the "C" for Chicago reads like a trip to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, beginning with Dick Irvin, the original captain from 1926 to 1929. Irvin would later become the Black Hawks head coach.
Goaltender Charlie Gardiner (who sadly passed away at age 29) served as captain from 1933 to 1934. Earl Seibert was captain from 1940-42 and proceeded Doug Bentley, who held the job from 1942-1944. Following Bentley was Clint Smith in 1944-45 and John Mariucci in 1945-46.
Bentley regained the captaincy in 1949-50 prior to giving way to Jack Stewart for 1950 to 1952, followed by Bill Gadsby, who wore the "C" from 1952 to 1954. Defenseman Pierre Pilote was the longest serving team captain in Black Hawks history, serving from 1961 through 1968.
All-time franchise scoring leader Stan Mikita was one of three captains in the 1976-77 season and Denis Savard served in the 1988-89 season.
Of these men, Irvin was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1958, Gardiner in 1945 and Siebert 1963. When he was elected, he became part of the first father/son combination in the Hall of Fame with his father Oliver Siebert.
Doug Bentley was inducted in 1964, Mariucci in 1985, Smith in 1991, Gadsby in 1970 and Stewart joined in 1964. Pilote got the call in 1975 and Savard in 2000.
More recent captains, and certainly some who will receive consideration for the hall, are Dirk Graham (1989-1995), Chris Chelios (1995-1999) and Doug Gilmour (1999-2000) prior to Amonte, who was captain from 2000-2002.
Since the departure of Amonte, the Blackhawks captains have been Russian Alexi Zhamnov (2002-2004), Adrian Aucoin (2005-2007), Martin Lapointe in 2006, and now Stanley Cup winning captain Jonathan Toews, who looks primed to give Pilote a run for his money in the longevity department, having become the third youngest captain in NHL history when he was given the "C" at age 20, and is now the second youngest captain to hoist the Stanley Cup. Toews is currently signed through the 2022-23 season with Chicago.
Today's featured jersey is a 2000-01 Chicago Blackhawks Tony Amonte jersey. This black alternate jersey was introduced in 1996 and worn through 2006-07 before being retired with the changeover to the new Reebok Edge jerseys. After one season it was revived for a year om 2008-09 before being replaced by the black jersey worn in the Winter Classic held in Chicago's Wrigley Field on January 1st, 2009.
This Amonte jersey features the Blackhawks 75th Anniversary patch to mark their joining the NHL in 1926, one of the more understated team anniversary patches in recent memory befitting an Original 6 franchise.
Our video selection today is a look back at Chicago Blackhawks history, now spanning over 80 years.